Online charity proves the sky’s the limit with award

Sky Badger have won the Guardian Charity Awards 2014
Sky Badger have won the Guardian Charity Awards 2014

A charity set up by a mum from Potton has won the 2014 Guardian Charity Awards.

Naomi Marek was inspired to start up an online charity when her son became ill at age six.

Sky Badger was formed with the aim of giving support and advice to other families in the same situation. Two years on, it has helped hundreds of thousands of families.

The charity was chosen as one of the five charities honoured by The Guardian’s prestigious award.

From over 1,200 entries, the five winners were chosen based on their innovation, impact and sustainability.

The Guardian Charity Awards champions charities that are making a significant contribution to improving social wellbeing in the UK.

They give a much-needed boost to organisations that often get overshadowed by the big players in the voluntary sector and who struggle to get the profile and funding they need to move forward.

The win will see Sky Badger receiving a prize fund of £5,000, as well as one year free NCVO membership; resources and training from The Media Trust; a tailored package of support from the Foundation for Social Improvement (FSI) including assessment, and an iPad from Jigsaw24.

Naomi, who is the chief executive of Sky Badger, said: “We were all completely flabbergasted when we found out that we’d won.

“Having The Guardian believe in what we’re doing is like rocket fuel in our engines.

“Between the confidence boost and the incredible award package… wow, it’s going to be an awesome year.”

Sky Badger is a charity that finds help and adventure for disabled children and their families.

It does this by building bridges between disabled children and the charities and services available to help.

It finds everything from disabled sports clubs to sibling groups and “make-a-wish” charities and tells families about them though its website, social media platforms, videos, information packs and e-helpdesk.

Naomi added: “Sky Badger operates entirely online, which means we can be there whenever and wherever we’re needed most – whether that’s a dad at 3am at his kitchen table or a big sister finding Sky Badger on her phone in a hospital car park.”

Since Sky Badger’s website was launched in 2012, it has reached over 260,000 families, helped hundreds of children with urgent and serious problems through its e-helpdesk, created five new at-home jobs for disabled people and parents of disabled children, and over 80 volunteer roles.

To find out more about the charity visit www.skybadger.co.uk or www.facebook.com/SkyBadger or follow @ sky_badger on Twitter.